Habitus

There is something soft and breathtaking about being surrounded by moving, flowing, cloth, as well as being able to guide its twirling movement, pulling down on cords that hang from the ceiling of an otherwise empty warehouse. In the early evening, the oversized cloths are dappled with light spots and as the breeze off the river catches them, they billow out and fill up the spaces. We are dwarfed in its immensity. Open until October 10th, the Pier 9 warehouse, as part of the Fringe festival, is temporarily home to Ann Hamilton’s immersive cloth exhibition. The warehouse sits at water level and is open from noon-6pm from Tuesday to Sunday, and until 8pm on Thursdays. It is also completely free and photograph friendly.

The artist describes the cloth she uses as reminiscent of the cloth that swaddles us in birth and death. If cloth is “the first architecture for the body”, then it is also our first and perhaps last home.  

In this place of transition from water to land, a field of spinning curtains creates an interior landscape within which, suspended in time, a visitor can be both lost and held. Operating a pulley system, visitors propel giant cylindrical curtains to billow to gigantic proportions. As cloth swaddles at birth and covers in sleep; as a folded blanket can tell a story of trade; as a flag carries the symbol of a nation, habitus invites you to touch and be touched by the fabric of human experience.

A visual artist internationally recognized for the sensory surroundings of her large-scale multimedia installations, Ann Hamilton’s art making serves as an invocation of place, of collective voice, of communities past and of labor present.”

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